Wednesday, 18 April 2012

When nights were cold - Susanna Jones

Grace Farringdon has always been mesmerized and fascinated with the great explorers and often daydreams that she could one day accompany Shackleton on a voyage to Antarctica. Grace decides that she will attend university against the wishes of her family and the expectations of society. There she meets like-minded women and forms an Antarctica Exploration Society. Soon play acting is not enough and they begin to embark on a life changing journey. The tragic events of their first real climb haunt Grace and its members - Locke and Parr for the rest of their lives. 

Grace is a unreliable narrator. Her loved ones are of the opinion that she is not sound of mind but who are we to trust? because through her eyes they are the ones that are not sane. There are vague references to medication and hallucinations that once afflicted her father but there is great mystery surrounding her state of mind.

Mountaineering did not have as large a part as I thought that it would and that disappointed me slightly but this novel was in no way boring or uneventful.

This was a dark atmospheric novel that sought to mislead and deceive the reader. Grace and women in general seem to suffocate under the restrictions and expectations of their sex. The entire novel had a very claustrophobic feel to it, both socially, mentally and physically.

A great novel, very much in the vein of Sarah Waters.

Rating: 4

review also seen on goodreads:

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